[Cryptography] Thoughts on hardware randomness sources

Marcus D. Leech mleech at ripnet.com
Tue Sep 10 10:59:37 EDT 2013

I wonder what people's opinions are on things like the randomsound 
daemon that is available for Linux.

Similarly, any hardware with an ADC input can be used as a hardware 
random noise source, simply by cranking up the gain to suitable levels
   where the low-order bit is sampling thermal noise.

I currently play in the Software Defined Radio space, and there are 
these very-cheap SDR "dongles" that could easily be used as a hardware
   random noise source.

I think it would be hard for NSA to hack *all* hardware that includes an 
ADC and some gain in front of it, since there's a dizzying array of it
   available, cheaply, for PC hardware.

A related issue is getting sites to *use* enhanced random sources, even 
when "easy and cheap".

Marcus Leech
Principal Investigator
Shirleys Bay Radio Astronomy Consortium

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